“Managing NEST is so easy, it is so straightforward. It’s literally just a matter of logging in, uploading information and pressing a button. It’s very easy, it’s very simple.”
HR4UK is an employment and personnel specialist providing human resources and employment services to organisations throughout the UK. It employs 14 workers and had no workplace pension scheme in place before auto enrolment.
Angela Clay is HR4UK’s operations director. She started planning about six months before the company’s staging date. She looked at what pension schemes were available and which would best suit HR4UK. She was concerned about making sure they did everything correctly to comply with the regulations and that they got an easy and simple solution. She was also concerned about the cost implications.
The fact that NEST is free for employers to use and has low charges for members was a big factor in making the decision to use NEST. Angela was also impressed by NEST’s simplicity and online functionality. Being able to manage NEST in or outside the office is a particularly attractive feature.
Thanks to the comprehensive guidance on NEST’s website, it didn’t take much time for Angela to set up NEST and enrol her 13 workers. Now she’s set up it takes very little effort to manage. NEST is compatible with her payroll software and NEST’s streamlined systems make it easy for her to take care of it on her own.
“The NEST scheme integrates fully with our payroll software. It’s just a question of us downloading a file from the payroll system each week and uploading it into the NEST website. It’s as simple as that.”
Status Heating Limited installs, repairs and maintains central heating products throughout the Midlands. They’ve been in business for around 40 years and employ 75 permanent workers, mostly service engineers.
Leigh Skillett is director at the company. He knew that auto enrolment was coming and that it was going to affect them. They already had two pension schemes in place but neither met the requirements for auto enrolment.
Leigh heard about NEST in the letter they received from The Pensions Regulator about their staging date. The first thing he did was contact his payroll provider and research which schemes would work easily with their payroll software. He decided on NEST because he could run it with his existing payroll package and it looked very straightforward to manage. The extra reassurance of being linked to the government was another factor in choosing NEST.
As a relatively small organisation with a weekly payroll, Leigh was worried that auto enrolment would be costly and create a lot more work. He was pleasantly surprised to find that it only takes a few extra minutes to run NEST every week and he can easily manage it himself online. He particularly likes the ability to make payments by Direct Debit and submit contributions online. By making it easy to meet payment deadlines and manage auto enrolment tasks, NEST helps them comply with their duties as an employer.
“We were looking for something that was transparent. That made our employees feel their money was secure. That was portable so when an employee leaves there’s no worry about having loads of little pots of money sitting around being eaten away by charges. NEST fitted that category.”
Embrace Group is a leading provider of health and social care for more than 3,500 people in the UK. It provides residential, educational and supported living services which enable people to live as independently as possible. It employs over 5,000 people. Many of them are paid based on hourly contracts. The care industry workforce is highly mobile relative to other industries.
When Embrace Group realised auto enrolment was coming they engaged independent brokers to help them find the provider that would be right for them. They were concerned about the administrative burden that their large workforce could bring. Their other big concern was to ensure their workers had a ‘portable’ retirement pot that they could keep paying into if they left Embrace Group.
The brokers pointed to NEST as the best fit for Embrace Group’s needs. NEST’s straightforward online functionality minimises the administrative load of a large workforce, while NEST’s portable retirement pots are highly suitable for their relatively transient workforce.
Kate found NEST easy to set up and reaction from Embrace Group’s workers has been really positive. They see NEST as a safe pair of hands for their money and less than 9 per cent of workers at Embrace Group have opted out.
“From a members’ perspective, because it’s web-enabled they’re able to look at their pension pots easily, from anywhere. When they move jobs if their new employer has a similar arrangement then they can add their contributions to their retirement pot.”
Mencap is a UK-wide charity that exists to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and their families. It employs around 10,000 people across the UK, including large numbers of support workers with variable hours, and has a high turnover of staff.
Knowing that it would be among the first to reach their staging date, Mencap’s head of pensions and benefits Mira Mohideen started preparing about 18 months beforehand. Mencap already had a pension in place, but take up was low and it wasn’t appropriate for the new pension rules. Mira looked at a number of providers before deciding that NEST offered the type of flexibility that matched the complexity of Mencap’s workforce.
Mencap used a three-month postponement to make sure it had time to get all of its 10,000 workers enrolled. Since then, Mira and her team have been able to automate most of the processes around auto enrolment and they now spend about a day in every pay cycle processing contributions for their 6,000 enrolled workers.
Workers at Mencap have responded really well to being automatically enrolled into NEST, and opt- outs have been very low, at five or six per cent.
“We initially thought it was going to be very difficult but the reality of it when we chose NEST was that it was very easy.”
Timpson is a multi-service retail business with over 1,400 outlets spread throughout the UK. The main services it offers are shoe repairs, key cutting, engraving, watch repairs, mobile phone repairs, dry cleaning and photo processing.
Timpson was among the first companies to reach its staging date under the new pension duties. From the outset, Timpson’s pension manager Rosemary Whitehead recognised that auto enrolment was mainly an administrative challenge. It looked like a lot to do around automatically enrolling workers and managing opt-outs, all within quite tight deadlines.
She considered several providers alongside NEST. She concluded that NEST offered a simple and cost-effective solution for Timpson and that NEST’s association with the government and the auto enrolment policy would reassure her workers.
After deciding NEST was a good fit for Timpson, Rosemary contacted their payroll provider to see how it would work with NEST. She was pleased to find out that they were familiar with NEST already and had created a module that would output payroll data in a compatible format for NEST.
Rosemary and her team found it very straightforward to set up NEST for Timpson. Since then, they’ve found day-to-day administration easy, helped by the way that NEST has been continuing to improve their services since they first started using it.
“The NEST communications are very clean, very easy to understand and very eye-catching in terms of the design and the simplicity. That fits really well with how we like to talk to our employees.”
The Rank Group Plc is a leading European gaming and betting business. Its principal activities are casinos, bingo clubs and digital gaming. It operates the UK's Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca bingo clubs and employs about 10,000 people.
Rank Group was among the first companies to stage for auto enrolment. Brigid Miles, head of reward for Rank Group and in charge of putting auto enrolment in place, was looking for a scheme that would reassure her workers.
When Brigid looked at NEST she found that it offered exactly the kind of reassurance she was looking for. Because it was set up by government her workers would feel they were in good hands. She also felt that NEST’s clearly written and eye-catching communications would help workers at Rank Group engage with the benefits of a workplace pension.
Setting NEST up turned out to be very straightforward. They did it all online and used NEST’s tools and templates to make things easier. NEST works seamlessly with their payroll software and sits easily next to their existing stakeholder scheme. Since getting started they’ve found it very easy to administer, day-to-day.
Workers at Rank Group have also been happy with NEST and opt outs have been low. Brigid has also found that being enrolled into NEST has started conversations about the other benefits Rank Group offers their workers and led to a more engaged workforce.
© NEST Corporation 2017. All rights reserved. These case studies are examples of employers who have been using NEST. This information doesn’t constitute financial, investment or professional advice. NEST doesn’t make any personal recommendation or give advice to employers and their workers. If you’re considering using NEST you might want to consider seeking advice from a qualified professional. The NEST trademarks and trade names used above are owned by NEST Corporation and should not be used in any way without our permission.